Dyslexia Signs

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People with dyslexia are not all alike, and the degree of dyslexia can range from mild to severe. So dyslexia signs also differ in different people, but they may have many of the symptoms described below. Sometimes, dyslexia signs appear in a cluster in different areas. Also, the problems and dyslexia signs are incompatible with the person’s abilities in other spheres.

Dyslexia signs in the pre school and kindergarten stage

A five year old child, if he has three (or more) of the dyslexia signs mentioned here, should be tested for dyslexia, particularly if there is AD/HD or dyslexia in the family. It is also recommended that reading readiness activities are practised with the child in the preschool period.

- late in starting to speak, i.e, no words spoken till the child’s first birthday. Sometimes, the child may not talk till he/she is two, three or older.

- has difficulty learning the sounds of the alphabet or the names of letters; finds it difficult to write the alphabet in order.

- mixes up sounds if the word is multi-syllabic, for example, hekalopter for helicopter, aminal for animal, mazageen for magazine etc.

- early stuttering

- can’t tie shoes

- confusion over directions, i.e left and right, before and after, over and under etc

- late in establishing a dominant hand

Dyslexic signs in reading and spelling

Dyslexic people make specific, and not random type of reading and spelling errors, such as:


- reads single, isolated words slowly and inaccurately when no pictures or story line is given as clue

- can read words on a page but doesn’t recognize them on next page

- unable to sound out unknown words although knows phonics

- inserts or leaves out letters eg. star-stair, could-cold etc.

- while reading aloud, reads slowly with a choppy cadence and ignores punctuations often

- a classic dyslexia sign is b-d confusion; one letter points to the right, and the other letter points to the left, and there is right-left confusion.


- numerous signs of spelling difficulties in written work - cross outs, erasures etc

- spelling is much worse than reading, and shows extreme difficulty with vowels and sometimes leaves them out

- misspells words even when copying from a book or the board


Among dyslexia signs, poor, often illegible handwriting, or dysgraphia, is very common, and is seen in

- a young child often puts his/her head down on the desk and watches the pencil tip while they write

- sometimes holds the pencil in an unusual grip with the thumb placed on top of the fingers

- writes in a slow, non automatic, labored manner

- finds it very difficult to keep the letters on the horizontal lines

- takes a very long time to learn cursive writing and finds it difficult and confusing

Math problems

Although dyslexic people may often be gifted in understanding math concepts, problems in other areas like memorization, reading, sequencing make math tasks difficult for them, and they have difficulty

- learning multiplication tables

- remembering subtraction and addition facts

- remembering the steps in their sequence in long division

- reading word problems in math etc

Am I Dyslexic